VICTORIA -- Those who are looking to purchase a single-family home in the Greater Victoria area should be prepared after a recent rise in prices.

The average cost of a single-family home in the Greater Victoria area exceeded $1 million in June, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB).

In May, the average cost of a similar home was $875,938, according to the VREB. Last year, in June 2019, the average was $867,312.

While the average cost of a single-family home was $1,014,746 last month, the real estate board says that the median cost of the 399 houses sold in June was $865,750.

According to VREB, Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands saw a relatively strong month for property sales in June.

In total, 808 properties sold in the region, marking a 76.8 per cent increase in home and condo sales compared to May, and a 9.2 per cent increase compared to June 2019.

But experts say it’s too early to tell what impacts the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the real estate market going forward.

“If all we do is look at numbers, we see a fairly normal June, in the midst of a very not normal world,” said Sandi-Jo Ayers, president of the VREB.

“These are not normal days for local real estate, nor is this month a signal of a return to normal, regardless of the numbers.”

According to the VREB, several factors are likely responsible for the increase in home sales in June.

The start of Phase 2 of B.C.’s restart plan opened up more opportunities for viewing homes and interacting with real estate agents in-person. Meanwhile, a provincial order that restricted landlords from evicting tenants under most conditions was lifted, which may have allowed more properties to come to market, according to the VREB.

“Additionally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes that start July 1 which will reduce the borrowing power of some buyers who insure through CMHC,” said Ayers.

“This may have pushed some demand forward, although there are alternate suppliers of mortgage insurance,” she said.

According to the VREB, a limited inventory across the region meant that most homes were receiving multiple offers in June.

Condo sales, however, saw a slight reduction in sales compared to June 2019.

The real estate board says the decline in condo sales may be linked to an increase in strata insurance costs. In June, the B.C. government said it would be taking measure to help curb the spike in strata insurance costs in the province.